Crying “freedom of expression” won’t help

I have barely touched the surface of the Tokyo Youth Ordinance, but would like, for the moment, to emphasise the following:

Harping on about the right of freedom of expression accomplishes nothing.

Yes, Governor Ishihara’s stance and attitude have been far to extreme and forceful. He and the TMA may also be guilty of discriminating against the manga, anime and games industries. Furthermore, the manner in which they have strong-armed this law into existence paints them as politicians and policy makers whom we cannot trust.

However, rather than trying to argue that novels and film should be included under the bill, or harping on about how untrustworthy they are – true as that may be – we need to recognise that there are legitimate issues that need to be addressed. That is to say, we should acknowledge the existence of unrestricted titles that should be restricted and do something about them.

Though it may not appear to be the case, supporters of the new law aren’t (just) basing their opinions on works that don’t exist. Titles that definitely need to be restricted do exist. Do you know of any?

Try “Teacher’s Pet” (先生のお気に入り!), which was published in a magazine directed at middle and high school girls (ages 12-18) and is currently available on amazon.

Written by Aihara Miki, this manga depicts a young female teacher being raped by one of her students (also the younger brother of her boyfriend)…but she ends up falling in love with him… Now, my problem with this title isn’t the sex scenes (which aren’t particularly explicit), but rather the fact that a so-called “loving relationship” develops from a rape.

I’ll leave you to reach your own conclusion about the themes and values that this manga seems to espouse.

My point, which I’ve already posted elsewhere, is this:

The law has been passed. Much as we’d like to criticise the Tokyo government for forcing the issue through without any input from the industry, I think that we too have to recognise that it came about because of legitimate issues. It’s now up to the industry (and by extension, the fans) to show that it can respond in a responsible and reasonable manner.

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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